Socfin worked successfully together with DEG on projects with important positive social impact, today the cooperation concentrates on the fight against EBOLA.
A first cooperation started in 1996 with the creation of a smallholders scheme in the area of Grand Béréby in Côte d’Ivoire. The program promoted the production of natural rubber on family farms. Technical assistance was provided by Socfin and more than 2 200 farmers were trained and financed. The project is still an example for smallholders development in Africa.
This project was followed by a smallholders scheme in Cameroon in 2006. Hereby a planted Socapalm concession was redistributed to smallholders. Again the smallholders were trained and followed up by the technical staff: agricultural advice, provision of fertiliser and seeds, off take of the production. It concerns a planted area of almost 3 000 ha and more than 300 smallholders are involved.
Between 2008 and 2013 Socfin collaborated with DEG on two long term projects focused on health care. To improve HIV/AIDS prevention and care for workers and their families and for the nearby communities a fast program was started in heavily affected countries where Socfin is operating (DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria and Liberia). It involved the upgrade of the medical facilities, provision of equipment, drugs and consumables, training of health staff and peer educators, organisation of awareness raising campaigns and intensification of collaboration with local NGO’s and national programs. In a second phase of the project additional attention was given to family planning, mother to child HIV Transmission, female education, TBC and malaria.
Today the focus is on the battle against Ebola. The Socfin projects in Liberia and Sierra Leone (LAC, SRC, SAC…) have taken a holistic approach since the start of the Ebola outbreak with a wide variety of measures such as building holding centres, training medical staff, awareness raising and sensitisation of the employees and the communities, with supply of soap, chloride and hand washing facilities, measuring temperatures of all inhabitants on a regular basis. DEG is appreciative of the efforts delivered and continues to co-finance components of the Ebola response and prevention work.